At least one million people—more than two million, according to some sources—marched in El Alto, Bolivia, on July 20 to call for national unity and to oppose proposals to move the executive and legislative branches of government from La Paz, the de facto capital, to the southern city of Sucre. Although no government officials spoke at the demonstration, in the evening President Evo Morales called the mobilization "historic"; analysts considered it the country's largest demonstration in recent years. The media nicknamed it the "Pacenazo" (from
Schools, banks and government offices were closed in
The unexpectedly huge protest came in response to proposals that delegates from Chuquisaca Department, where
Speakers at the demonstration suggested that the proposal was a maneuver by groups opposed to Evo Morales' leftist government to create a "confrontation between brothers" and to "delegitimize the Constituent Assembly."
On July 16 Morales announced that his government would nationalize the National Railroad Company (ENFE), which was largely privatized in 1996 by then-president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, now in exile in the